In it, officers in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, tell the kids that they need licenses to ride bikes before confiscating them, The video shows them approaching a the teenagers after they rode on the wrong side of the road and weaved past some traffic, at times touching some of the cars. In the extended YouTube version of the clip, the teens are briefly pursued by police, and when asked why they didn’t stop, one of them replies, “Because you guys take bikes.”
“You guys are supposed to have licenses and all that kind of stuff,” said one officer, who alleged that they were creating a disturbance in traffic. “Guys, we don’t make the rules. You guys know when there’s 30 or 40 of you together, it creates a problem for people driving,” he adds.
While the kids were told several times that their bikes would not be seized, and that they would instead need to get licenses, a different officer ultimately takes their bikes. The Black teen who was cuffed refused to hand over his bike, and was threatened with arrest if he didn’t comply. It’s unclear if charges were filed against the teenager, although he was later released at the police station.
The original tweet including a clip from the incident has been watched over five million times on Twitter alone. Many criticized the police for placing the Black teen in cuffs, including Amol Sinha, the executive director of ACLU New Jersey. “This is Perth Amboy, NJ,” Sinha wrote. “Are the police really arresting kids over bike registrations? Does it really require this many officers to address whatever situation this is?”
Per Nj.com, the video has sparked an investigation into the incident.